Gladys Knight, Ahead of Super Bowl Anthem Date, Criticizes Colin Kaepernick

The soul singer Gladys Knight, who will likely be singing the nationwide anthem at this yr’s Super Bowl in Atlanta, appeared to criticize Colin Kaepernick in an announcement printed by Variety on Friday.

Kaepernick is the previous San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose refusal to face throughout “The Star-Spangled Banner” — and kneel as a substitute — to protest police brutality has made him a divisive determine nationwide, incomes him reward from civil rights teams, however scorn from many conservatives, including President Trump.

“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” Knight wrote to Variety. “It is unfortunate that our national anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the national anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

The assertion continued: “I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3, to give the anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life.”

This is the most recent twist on the intersection of politics, sports activities and music that has surrounded this yr’s Super Bowl. Kaepernick remains to be within the center of an ongoing arbitration case relating to a grievance he filed towards the N.F.L. He has accused the league’s house owners of colluding to maintain him out of the league after not being signed final season.

His protests in the course of the anthems grew to become a cultural flash level, although he wasn’t within the league. Other N.F.L. gamers started kneeling to assist Kaepernick, as did celebrities off the sector. Last fall, Nike made Kaepernick the face of a prominent advertising campaign

This yr’s Super Bowl grew to become significantly fraught as a result of of the halftime present. Some high-profile artists, together with the rapper Cardi B, stated they’d not be prepared to carry out, in a present of solidarity with Kaepernick. Last yr, Jay-Z rapped in a single of his songs: “I said no to the Super Bowl, you need me, I don’t need you.”

Earlier this week, the N.F.L. announced the halftime acts can be Maroon 5 and the rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi. Scott’s determination to take part, particularly, obtained backlash, together with from outstanding African-Americans like Al Sharpton. Variety reported that Kaepernick and Scott spoke earlier than the announcement and described the dialog as “cordial and respectful.” But on Wednesday, a number of posts crucial of Scott appeared on Kaepernick’s Twitter account.

Perhaps anticipating the criticism, Scott introduced on Sunday, at the side of the halftime billing, that he and the league had been teaming up on a $500,000 to Dream Corps, a social justice group.

Representatives for Kaepernick and Knight didn’t reply to a request for remark.

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